In the last few years, Google has made the approach of building a website or a web page around specific keywords more and more obsolete. In 2016, it seems that keyword research is not as important as it used to be. However, even if we definitely need to build your multilingual web site for your foreign customers, and not for the search engines, multilingual keyword research has still a significant role to play in your website internationalization.
Understanding user intent
Understanding user intent
Everytime somebody searches onthe web, they have a different objective. They might be looking for information, a specific product, looking for a place… User intent refers to what a user may be actually looking for when they use a search engine.
And showing a user the right content for whichever stage of the buying cycle they are in is essential for improving your revenue and conversion rates.
However, not all searches are created equally and while your current keywords might have the most searches in your industry, some small tweaks and additions could potentially be a gold mine for your business.
Understanding user intent is half the battle. When doing a keyword research, our objective is to discover just what potential customers are searching for, and how to target them.
Multilingual SEO agencies usually strive to achieve two goals simultaneously: to understand the searcher intent and to provide the best possible answer to satisfy that intent. One way to understand the searcher intent on foreign markets is learning what keywords your foreign customers are using.
Keyword research still gives a quite accurate idea of what people are searching for and what kind of search volume can be expect if you rank high for that term. Keyword research is used to assess the popularity of keywords, and the amount of competition existing for specific search terms at an international level.
Regardless of what language your website is written in, keywords are the vital link between what people are searching for and what is on your website. Whether your website ranks as relevant to a user’s search is based on the presence of your keywords in the website copy. But when creating your content around these foreign keywords we need to think much further than just putting 500 words on the page and using your target keyword in the title and headline. Today, “meeting searcher’s intent” is becoming a ranking factor that is as strong as having a keyword in the title of your page. The reason is that we may still have reasonable control of selected “short tail” keywords, but we have absolutely no control over dozens of longer tail keywords that this same page may rank for.
As each country and language has different search patterns and search terms, successful international SEO requires detailed research into searcher behavior and language usage in each market. The keywords that are mostly used in the country you are targeting have to be identified, and any direct translation of keywords should be avoided. We can not directly translate keywords, since they are deeply rooted into local culture, and they depend on many factors that vary from one country to another – or even from one region to another, such as local customs, the behavior of consumers … In Spain, for example, one of the top terms for “car” is actually “coche”, whereas in other Latin American countries such as Argentina, people will use “auto”. Brands really need local knowledge if they want their website to be found by prospective foreign customers.
With the assistance of native-speaking experts, here is the methodology we follow at Openvalley for international keyword analysis:
1. Research: examining your existing website and your competitors’ websites to determine a list of potential keywords.
2. Search volume analysis: we use online tools (like Google Research Tools) to determine which keywords are searched for most often. Other search engine tools for data analysis can be used to find out the keywords related with your activity ( for instance Baidu Keyword in China and Yandex Wordstat for Russia).
3. Choice: Direct translations of keywords into other languages are rarely correct, you need local expertise to choose the right keywords
4. Competition analysis: Online research is needed to determine which keywords represent a gap in the market. We need to assess which keywords are used by your competitors.
5. Track Your Keyword Success : once you’ve added the keywords, we can start to monitor their performance. Keyword trends can change pretty quickly, so tracking their success is just as important as using them. The keywords that aren’t generating any customer traffic should be reviewed and new content should be created to match user intent. Simple changes can have very positive results. To review international positioning, Openvalley has developed a solution, LocalRank.
Providing a great user experience is definitely the best approach for multilingual SEO in 2016. To understand searchers intent on the web, multilingual keyword research is one of the first steps toward knowing your target markets, and getting your website found by your foreign customers. Call us today to get a quote.